In an increasingly digital world, where technology continues to enhance literally every touch point in our daily lives, it is within the education sector that its impact can potentially prove most profound. This is particularly the case for the African continent where the uptake of mobile devices continues to increase annually.
Mampho Langa, Head: Future Nation Schools, states that a key focus of the school is ensuring learners reach their full potential. “Here the school management body took the decision to embrace technology and invest time and resources in ensuring their learners receive the best possible education growth and support during their educational journey.
“With so many educational tools available that not only enhance but streamline learning processes, we have made every effort to ensure our learners have access to and benefit from various online and social tools” she comments.
Some of the educational tools the schooling group uses connects parents, teachers and learners and can be accessed on all mobile devices, while others include game-based learning platforms comprising of activities such as multiple-choice quizzes.
The school also has a bring your own device (BYOD) policy where learners are able to bring in their own tablets as well as learn how to better tap into the power of their cellphones by making use of these technological tools during school.
The benefits offered to learners through these mobile tools and platforms are vast, however, Langa lists the following as some of the most evident:
- Regularly gauge each individual learner’s progress
Traditionally, keeping track of learners’ progress on a daily basis was regarded as next to impossible. However ongoing technological innovation in the educational sector now allows teachers to login online and follow-up on homework assignments, tailor and upload relevant content, and track activity levels together with the type of content learners are engaging with.
- Streamline and fast-track teacher-learner communication
While in the past communication and interaction between teachers and parents was limited to face-to-face meetings or email communication, this is no longer the case. Here technology can play an integral role in connecting students, teachers and parents almost instantaneously at any time and from anywhere.
Communication can take place directly one-on-one or specific groups can be created should there be certain information that needs to be communicated and actioned. Homework, assignments and tests can also be shared directly, greatly speeding up and enhancing the entire communication process.
- Nurture a supportive, e-mentoring environment that encourages growth
Embracing a collaborative approach to education where all parties maintain a vested interest in the learner’s education, serves to greatly improve learning outcomes.
Through encouraging interaction between learners, parents and teachers, all parties are able to learn and grow together, ensuring each individual child reaches and maintains their full learning potential.
- Learn from and adjust lesson plans where necessary
The advent of the Internet and access to information has made the need for encyclopedias and certain reference and textbooks obsolete. Access to the most current content and research when compiling lesson plans is now fortunately a much-needed reality.
Social learning platforms have served to greatly empower teachers to proactively alter lesson plans to ensure they are at the correct level and contain the most up-to-date content. In this way learners are able to engage with the most appropriate content in a way that they can relate to.
- Promote teaching and learning outside of the classroom and school environment
Support and encouragement in the learning environment is critical to ensure not only appropriate educational progress but also is key when ensuring learners reach their full potential.
Through encouraging consistent engagement with learning tools and platforms that are relatable and user-friendly outside of the classroom this means support and feedback are accessible at home or as and when learners require it.
With the likes of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) already making an impact in various industry sectors, most notably the financial services sector, Langa says it is only a matter of time before education tech (AI Ed) comes to the fore, bringing with it AI-powered personalised learning systems.
“Considering that AI has the potential to change the quality, delivery, and nature of education as well as the role of parents, students and teachers within the educational landscape. Remaining on top of important technological trends and innovation is a key priority in order to ensure we future-proof ourselves to remain relevant in the world of work.” she concludes.